Sunland Logistics Solutions celebrates 35 years in business as a third party logistics provider and is excelling today as it implements a strategic growth plan to become a national brand. Originally founded in Greenville in 1982 as Sunland Distribution, the company has progressed along with the needs of its manufacturing customers as the dynamic global economy has required more sophisticated supply chains.
The team at Sunland specializes in warehousing and value-added services that support the automotive, retail/e-commerce, chemical and paper industries. Sunland operates approximately 4.5 million square feet across the Southeast and Midwest in South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Alabama.
Growth in an Evolving Logistics Industry
In today’s world of increasing customer expectations, sending out an order late or shipping the wrong part, pair of pants, or ingredient can have a ripple effect of costs for a company. Sunland has a team of process experts dedicated to improving their customer’s order fulfillment accuracy and speed to market.
As Sunland’s CEO, Arch Thomason says, “Our purpose is to help our customers do what they do better. This means they can focus on making the best products, and we can focus on getting their products to their customers more efficiently.”
Arch Thomason became owner and CEO of Sunland in 2008. Thomason recognized major changes in the industry occurring and knew they needed to use contemporary strategies to stay relevant and successful.
The first step was to build a leadership team with some of the industry’s top talent by sharing his vision to create a great company. In 2013 the team began implementing its Destination 2018 growth strategy and has since realized 100% growth of the company.
“With the new challenges shippers are facing today, there are a lot of opportunities for our team. It’s also been exciting to see the incredible growth in our own back yard of South Carolina.”
Sunland attributes its success to a very deliberate focus on: Developing customer loyalty
Under the leadership of Sunland’s Chief Customer Officer, Elijah Ray, the company has developed a system for managing relationships with customers designed to ensure the partnership remains valuable as the customer’s business evolves on both a tactical and strategic level.
Fostering a Lean Culture and Encouraging ‘Employee Genius’
The Sunland team began their lean journey in 2014 and is building a culture rooted incontinuous process improvement and empowering associates to solve problems and eliminate waste. To help lean become part of the culture, Sunland’s management team adopted a practice to tap into the 8th waste of lean – unused employee genius.
The company is teaching associates on the floor to become leaders and “attack waste.” Thomason shares, “They are empowered to make the simple changes that can make their job easier. Then they create short videos to share during our weekly team meetings so we can all learn and celebrate.”